lundi 24 octobre 2011

L'Amérique sera la grande puissance du 21 siècle

Une nouvelle fois, le phénix américain se relève lentement. Dans environ cinq ans, les Etats-Unis seront en voie d'atteindre l'autosuffisance en matière de carburants et d'énergie. Dans l'industrie, l'écart entre le coût de la main-d'oeuvre avec la Chine dans une série de secteurs clés se resserre. Le compte courant pourrait même être se trouver en excédent.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard prédit dans le Daily Telegraph que l'Amérique, contrairement aux prévisions (les spécialistes dans les années 1980 se trompaient lourdement en prédisant que le Japon allait détrôner l'Amérique), sera comme au 20e siècle, "l'hyperpuissance", selon le terme cher à Hubert Védrine et aux complotistes du Réseau Voltaire, du 21e siècle.  Ce sont d'excellentes nouvelles pour un des meilleurs alliés d'Israël.

World power swings back to America

Assumptions that the Great Republic must inevitably spiral into economic and strategic decline - so like the chatter of the late 1980s, when Japan was in vogue - will seem wildly off the mark by then.

Telegraph readers already know about the "shale gas revolution" ("révolution du gaz de schiste") that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing - breaking rocks with jets of water - will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West. "The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d)," said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.  The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago. "The implications of this shift are very large for geopolitics, energy security, historical military alliances and economic activity. As US reliance on the Middle East continues to drop, Europe is turning more dependent and will likely become more exposed to rent-seeking behaviour from oligopolistic players," said Mr Blanch.

Meanwhile, the China-US seesaw is about to swing the other way. Offshoring is out, 're-inshoring' is the new fashion.

"Made in America, Again" - a report this month by Boston Consulting Group - said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the "default location" for cheap plants supplying the US.

A "tipping point" is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

"A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back," said BCG's Harold Sirkin.
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